Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

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Browsing Posts published in September, 2017

The Bear 100

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The Bear 100 was the first 100-miler I attempted back in 2004.  It was a small event that year with 51 starters and you wouldn’t see other runners for many hours.  I didn’t quite finish that year, but it started my long association running The Bear. Since then I had finished it seven times and hoped to accomplish it eight times, which would make it the only 100-mile race that I have finished that many times. During the early years the course was a loop format in the mountains above Preston, Idaho, but in 2008, it changed to a point-to-point course from Logan to Bear Lake.

My summer mountain 100s had been a struggle.  Starting in July I discovered that I was having great difficulty keeping my speed up during races with steep sustained uphills. This led to DNFs at both Cascade Crest 100 and Wasatch 100 where my progress was significantly slower than any previous years. This became discouraging during both races. For the first time since my rookie year I had to keep my eye on cutoff times.  This was disheartening and both times and I mentally quit as I realized I would need to run well over 30 hours to finish. Leading up to the The Bear 100 I put in more effort with hill training and believed I would be fine early on, but probably would still struggle later in the race.

My best Bear finish was back in 2010 with a solid time of 26:30. I always hope to beat my best times, but this year I set realistic expectations based on my recent elderly results and put together a pace chart to finish in 32:30.  I hate running 100 miles in more than 30 hours because of the toll it takes on my body being out there for so long.  But if I wanted to finish Bear this year, I decided to expect slowness and just focus on finishing. continue reading…

Don Ritchie

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1Don Ritchie is from Scotland and some people argue that Don is the greatest ultrarunner in history on tracks and roads. In his early teens he took part in school sports as a sprinter and usually finished in the top three. When he was sixteen years old, he participated in his first “walking race” which was popular at that time. The race was for seven miles and had 45 walkers. Don finished “a tired fifth” and walked in his working clothes and shoes. He walked the race again the following year and was bothered that two girls beat him. He concluded that he probably needed to train.

Don ran cross-country in school and during the track season raced the 440 and 880 yard races. His coach advised him to concentrate on the 880. In 1963 at the age of 19, he started to run fifteen miles regularly with Alistair Wood, one of the great ultrarunners of the early 1970’s, who later won London to Brighton race in a record time. Don eventually started to keep up with him on training runs. continue reading…